Early this morning, my Grandma, Carol Krause, passed away. She was 87-years old. She was admitted to the hospital yesterday and diagnosed immediately with an infection that led to her death. It goes without saying that this was a extremely harrowing experience to all involved, as she seemed to be on the road to recovery earlier in the week, so I hope that by writing this it can help create some measure of closure and serve as a remembrance to just how wonderful a person she was. This will be a tough post for me to write, so bear with me if it rambles.
My Grandma was a huge part of the lives of both Tricia and myself. For me, going to Grandma and Grandpa's house as a child was a great treat. It goes without saying that they handled the rambunctiousness of three Olson boys quite well. Whether it was watching Wheel of Fortune with her, enjoying her popcorn, hitting apples with the croquet mallets, or turning her living room into our "art gallery" (via coloring book pages), it was always obvious that she loved having the three of us there and that we made her happy. Last night, as Kevin and I replayed these moments from our youth out loud while in the room with Grandma, it brought a smile to her face, a moment I will remember always.
For Tricia, the admiration and love of my Grandma came along at a later point in life. They knew each other for the last 15 years and it was always obvious that my Grandma loved Tricia as much as she loved me. My Grandma was an independent-minded working woman in a time when that wasn't necessarily the norm. Tricia admired this about her and saw how she lived her life as an inspiration.
There are three things I will always take with me from yesterday's proceedings.
The first was the aforementioned moment in her hospital room where talked about stories from Grandma and Grandpa's house in our youth. I hope we were able to flood her mind with good memories and let her know how much we loved being around her.
The second was the last time we really spoke with her. It was difficult, but Tricia and I said our goodbyes, said we loved her, and to hear her say back to us that she loves us, well it still makes me cry, but is a moment I can't ever forget. I'm so glad we had that last moment to say those words to each other.
And finally, and this one is making me cry as I type it, but last night, while I was alone in the hospital room with her for a few minutes, I assured Grandma that Madelyn will always know about her and what a wonderful, Godly person she was. It truly breaks my heart that she will never be able to hold Madelyn, but Grandma had seen Madelyn and it was obvious that she cared and loved her from the moment she knew of her.
In the end, even as it is difficult to lose someone who was so important in your life, I am able to look up from my screen and smile, just for the simple fact of thinking of Grandma being with Grandpa right now. It gives me a comfort and a peace.
We love you and miss you, Grandma.
Troy, Tricia, and Madelyn